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WvW Frequently Asked Questions

edited December 22, 2017 in WvW

Q: When is a world considered "Full"?
A: Worlds are considered full when the average weekly playtime in WvW exceeds a set threshold. The status of worlds is periodically checked and then the “Full” status of worlds is adjusted.

Q: But my world never has a queue but we're still full?
A: We adjust based on average weekly playtime. This does not mean that your world will always have queues if it is marked as full. A world with high peak time population and a world with more spread out activity could both exceed the playtime threshold.

Q: But I want to play with my (guild/friends) and they are on a "full" server.
A: This is an unfortunate side effect of locking worlds and we agree that it can feel bad. However, if we do not lock worlds, worlds become overpopulated and it becomes impossible to have balanced match-ups.
During any given period, you will find that some host worlds and links are open. While this may require some members of a group to make changes, there are options for everyone.

Q: When will my world be open?
A: This depends on the players on that world. If players transfer to a different world or stop playing for a period then they no longer will affect the thresholds and the world could open back up.
[This is why it is against forum rules to ask us to open a world since world playtime determines this, not ArenaNet]

Q: Why are some worlds allowed to remain open over the threshold?
A: There are several reasons for this:
1. We adjust world population status periodically, but it does not update constantly. We are working on automating this process, but at this time, worlds occasionally can get more players on them because the threshold is not updated every time someone transfers.
2. Thresholds have been adjusted. As the populations have adjusted so have the thresholds. We switched from using WvW players to WvW play hours, and because of this the thresholds needed to change. Adjusting thresholds has caused some worlds to have populations temporarily over the threshold.
3. Players coming back to the game can put a world over the threshold. When a player has stopped playing for an amount of time they are no longer considered in the world thresholds. When they return to the game this can cause the world to go over the threshold since we do not remove people from worlds. We also have no plans to remove people from the worlds they play on because this would be a bad experience for those players.

Q: Are thresholds based on the top populated world?
A: Yes and no. When we adjust thresholds, we always take into consideration the worlds that have the highest population and play hours and make sure they are “Full”. However, the thresholds do not change based on the biggest worlds because this could be more easily manipulated by players, where they purposely do not play for several weeks to lower their population and open the world back up.

Q: Why not just delete all the worlds and start over? (Or other equally valid population idea)
A; Deleting worlds and letting players choose a new world is something we have considered in many forms. At this time we do not have a solution that we feel solves enough of the issues with population balance while also hitting enough of our other requirements to allow us to make such a change. This particular problem is tricky and involves many factors, not all of which we can share with players. Because of this limited knowledge, many of the ideas for population solutions that may seem as if they could solve the population issues fall short in some other way.
Even when we, or the community, has proposed these ideas the reactions are very mixed, which further proves how risky deleting worlds would be.

Q: Why is there World Linking instead of some other solution?
A: As the game has matured, world populations have drifted further apart. World Linking was implemented so that world populations and play hours could be flexibly adjusted to be closer to one another. World linking is also “easier” to change and adjust unlike other systems that have been discussed. The world linking concept utilized a lot of existing tech and required considerably less time to construct, which allowed us to address the growing population issue more quickly while also supporting issues in WvW.

Q: Do you balance/look at timezones for World Linking or World status?
A: We look at timezone participation but timezone participation is hard to balance because people who play at certain times tend to all gravitate towards the same worlds so they can play with more people. Since the off-hour players are concentrated, there are not enough “off-hour” players to create 24-hour coverage for every world. It just is not possible with our current world populations.

Q: Is the maximum number of players in a WvW map fixed or do you adjust it dynamically according to server load?
A: Fixed. Every team gets the same number of people per map. We do adjust this number manually from time to time.

Q: Does the WvW team handle skills and balance or other profession/skill related feedback?
A: No. The Skills and Balance Team handles skills and balance. For skills and balance feedback, please use the profession forums: https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/categories/professions. This is by far the best way to get your voice heard as it focuses the discussion in one place.

Q. Why can’t we cash out participation?
A: Cashing out has many complications and does not address the primary reason that players suggest it: AFKing. It is impossible to predict all the rewards someone would earn because we cannot predict if a map will become outnumbered or if your world’s placement would change. We would somehow need to make cashing out rewards as good as the rewards you would get if you were still playing. If the rewards are not as good, people would still AFK, and if we made the rewards too good then everyone would just constantly cash out. We would also need to lock them out of WvW (or at least from gaining participation) for a set period. That period would need to be as long as or longer than the amount of time it would take to decay to discourage playing a little, cashing out, and repeat in an attempt to gain an advantage in pip and reward track rewards.

Q. Will there be another WvW Tournament?
A:The old tournament format encouraged extensive play that resulted in a lot of burnout across the player base and a permanent drop off in WvW players. This had a negative impact on the format, and in order to keep WvW healthy, we currently do not have plans to bring back WvW tournaments.

McKenna Berdrow
Game Designer

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